LONDON BOROUGH TAKES ON MOBILE PHONE GIANT

A London community have successfully persuaded their council not to renew the lease of a phone mast on top of a block of council flats.

The lease with mobile phone company Orange expired last year and despite pressure from the company to renew the lease, the London Borough of Greenwich have put the interests of the community, residents and tenants before those of a commercial company as they are supposed to. Orange have been ordered to remove the mast from Westcombe Court by June 30th.

"This is a major breakthrough for other councils and communities because this community has persuaded the council to put their interests before those of the mobile phone company," says Mast Sanity trustee Amanda Wesley.

"Councils have an obligation to put the interests of the community, tenants, leaseholders and residents before those of commercial companies but many seemed afraid of the mobile phone companies. We applaud this council for exercising their responsibilities to residents and the community in this case. This is a victory for democracy. Mast Sanity urges other councils to follow this example."

"Colin Fancy, one of the campaigners involved in the three year battle involving people living in the block of flats and adjacent to it says, " I urge other communities to look into the terms of these leases and their rights. This has been a long and hard three year battle. Not only was the phone mast a visual eye sore in our conservation area but there were health and safety issues, such as the maintenance of equipment, which, overhung walkways in addition to the other health problems we had experienced".

"Councils must be forced to put the interests of tenants, occupiers, and residents as they are supposed to, before those of these commercial multinationals, who are purely motivated by profit and greed."

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